EIGHTY-five years after Premchand wrote Rangbhoomi, the novel continues to mesmerise readers, touching a raw nerve in the hearts. The suffering, suppression, and pain ensured by blind beggar Soordas in his attempt to save his ancestral land rings a contemporary note, especially in the context of the several land acquisition fights going on around the country.
Premchand (1880-1936) began writing this novel in 1922 and published its Hindi version in 1925 and considered it his best work.
Manju Jain, the translator, in her comprehensive introduction speaks of how Premchand touches upon all the prevailing socio-political issues, ranging from constitutional reforms, to women’s equality to freedom movement. Says she, “Rangbhoomi is quite literally a veritable playground or battlefield of conflicting perspectives, ideological positions, discourse, genres, voices and linguistic registers that crisscross the novel. It constantly compels the readers to engage with this plurality, evoking the fluidity and polyphony of the creative imagination at work, in a dialogic mode, through several, often contradictory perspectives.” Manju Jain retired as Professor from the Department of English, University of Delhi and has authored several books.
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